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Gear List || Backpacking Tarp & Bivy: Ultralight minimalism

By Andrew Skurka / November 20, 2016 /

In a normal winter, the Sierra Nevada, Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountains get hammered by systems that roll off the Pacific Ocean and drop hundreds of inches of snow. The summers, however, are sunny and dry, with only occasional precipitation related to the North American monsoon. Storms can be violent, but they are normally short-lived and…

Gear List || One-shelter quiver: Modular double-wall backpacking tent

By Andrew Skurka / November 15, 2016 /

What is a backpacking tent? I’ll define it as a full-sided, fixed-shaped, and holistically designed portable shelter that protects its occupants from precipitation, wind, groundwater, and insects. A few models do not fulfill this entire description, but it generally works. Tents grossly outsell tarps, hammocks, and bivy sacks. This is partly due to deeply embedded mindsets (“I…

Gear List || Fast & light backpacking stove for soloists & couples

By Andrew Skurka / October 31, 2016 /

While preparing for a backpacking trip in the Colorado Rockies this coming weekend (early-November), I had to consider the appropriateness of my ultralight alcohol stove and my powerful remote canister stove systems. I concluded that both would be functional, but that with an extra $50 purchase I could have a perfectly optimized kit. Intended applications This “Fast & Light” setup is suitable for solo backpackers and…

Download instructions: Backpack hunt gear lists for elk & deer

By Andrew Skurka / October 30, 2016 /

In a recent series I shared my backpack hunting gear lists for big game like elk and deer. Each post contains a detailed list and an in-depth discussion of my selections: Introduction Before the Shot The Shot After the Shot For reader convenience, I have made these lists available for download as a set of PDF’s and…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || After the shot: Field dressing & packing out

By Andrew Skurka / October 28, 2016 /

Backpack Hunt Gear List: After the shot For good reason, hunters often comment that, “The real work begins after pulling the trigger.” I can’t understate the effort involved in field dressing an animal and then packing out the meat (150-200 pounds for an elk), in addition to gear. Hunt with a friend — you’ll be glad…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || The shot: Rifle, scope, ammo & supports

By Andrew Skurka / October 28, 2016 /

Backpack Hunt Gear List: The shot After finding game and getting within range, it’s time to take the shot. My equipment: Long gun When shopping for my rifle I set a few parameters. It had to be: Suitable for elk and deer; Light, but still practical for target shooting and the shooting range; Reasonably priced;…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || Before the shot: Clothing, optics & calls

By Andrew Skurka / October 26, 2016 /

Backpack Hunt Gear List: Before the shot With the exception of a lucky outing, finding the game often constitutes the bulk of most hunts. In fact, about 75 percent of hunting trips in Colorado end without having taken a shot or packed out meat. If it were that easy, it’d be called shooting, not hunting. Optics and safety clothing…

Backpack Hunt Gear Lists for Big Game (elk & deer) || Introduction

By Andrew Skurka / October 26, 2016 /

Next month I will be hunting elk and deer during Colorado’s third rifle season. As with my previous fall hunts, this will be a backpack hunt: I will carry an overnight load and have a mobile camp. I’ll be joined by Steve, a friend and running partner. Essentially, we’re going on a conventional backpacking trip in the Colorado…

Backpacking Gear Lists || First Aid, Foot Care & Repair Kits (Downloadable)

By Andrew Skurka / October 5, 2016 /

If I were to drop my first aid, foot care, and field repair kits directly into my master backpacking gear list, I would fear clogging it up. Already, the master list can be intimidating, and these kits contain dozens of items on their own. Moreover, their exact contents depend greatly on whether I am traveling solo or with a…

Gear list || Backpacking Field Repair Kit for broken, lost & worn out gear

By Andrew Skurka / October 5, 2016 /

Due to extended use, hard use, and sometimes human error, backpacking clothing and equipment will break, tear, and wear out. Personally, in the field I’ve experienced: Torn trekking pants, rain gear, puffy jackets, sleeping bags, and backpacks; Leaking seams on shelters; Bent, splintered, and fractured trekking pole shafts; Cracked sunglasses; Punctured and cracked water bottles; Dead headlamp batteries; Slow leaks in air sleeping…